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French tax disputes  In France, the principle is to pay the tax claimed by the tax administration, then secondly to make a request for relief in the event of a dispute over the amount paid. However, there are deadlines for filing this  challenge  .

Deadlines and tax disputes: Submission of requests for relief in France: –

In terms of real estate capital gains tax, the non-resident taxpayer has, under certain conditions, the need to use a tax representative in France who is responsible for calculating the amount of his capital gains tax and deposit before the French tax authorities of this amount until the end of the tax limitation period. The latter therefore takes charge of the complaints and requests for relief from its non-resident client, particularly in the event of a change in tax rate, a change in case law or new elements which could modify the amount of tax. The tax administration therefore considers that the tax representative is its direct contact and has no contact with the non-resident taxpayer.

Thus, when it rejects a request for relief, it notifies the tax representative who informs its client. The latter has the possibility of initiating litigation before the administrative court but often the distance and lack of knowledge of French deadlines lead the person to abandon all recourse because the limitation period is often opposed to them. However, the Council of State has decided, since 2005 and the Versailles Court of Appeal has just recalled it in 2017, that the time limit for appealing to the administrative court only runs from the day on which notification of the decision of the administration ruling on the taxpayer’s claim was made to the taxpayer himself, at his real domicile, even though this claim was presented through an agent among those mentioned in article R. 431-2 of the administrative justice code.

The role of tax representatives and contesting administrative decisions: –

Consequently, as long as the tax administration has not itself notified the non-resident of its rejection decision, the limitation period does not run. It is therefore always possible to challenge this decision before the administrative court. The DAMY law firm is an expert in these appeals against the Directorate General of Public Finances. If you have any doubts about the possibility of applying for relief, do not hesitate to contact our office and we will advise you very quickly.

NB Reminder: – starting point of the claim period: publication of the deed and payment of the tax on real estate capital gains; – the legal deadline for complaints expires on December 31 of the second year following payment of the tax; – deadline for appeal against the administrative decision: 2 years from notification to the taxpayer in  person  .

Updated March 20, 2022